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NLL Fantasy Mailbag: Week #4

01/23/2013, 12:30pm EST
By Alexander Hinkley for NLL.com

Answering your player value questions

The weekly Fantasy Mailbag column answers your questions about the 2013 NLL Fantasy Game. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

The 2013 NLL Fantasy Game uses a salary cap roster format requiring a balance of investment and production to maximize your team's value. The Fantasy Mailbag column answers fantasy questions from our readers to help you manage your team to glory and compete for weekly prizes.

Why do players only move in value by a few dollars each week? Cliff Smith has 51 fantasy points but still only costs $11? What gives? To only move guys a buck or so and leave most guys the same has very little impact. I want my team to increase in value to have a better roster.

Player values changes are based on the previous week's performance. Cliff Smith only had five points last week. At $11, of course that isn't going to make his value go up. The value doesn't just continually climb regardless of how a player performed that week. Weekly change in value is directly attributed to how that player did that particular week. At his current price, a five-point performance from Smith is disappointing and should not be rewarded with a further increase.

As to why he's still only $11 with 51 points, that is because his price started the season so incredibly low. He began at just $6 and went up a total of $5 in two weeks. That's a huge climb! Should he be priced similarly to Rhys Duch after just a couple of hot weeks? Probably not. Duch is a proven star that produces consistently and can be counted on. Smith is currently on a hot streak and might not be able to keep up this pace (he only had 46 fantasy points all last season). A player’s cost is not only based on their current performance but also takes into account their potential for putting up fantasy points regularly. That is why you see big name players like Casey Powell starting the season at such a high price tag despite not even playing last year.

But if Cliff Smith does end up having a breakout year and keeping up this pace, his value will steadily rise each week he performs above his current cost.

Trying to raise your team value is half of the difficulty of a salary cap based fantasy game like this one. In fact, we just published an article about this last week here.

It sounds like you want to afford all the players you want but it’s only Week #4 – still early. You need to work by making good choices over the course of the season to grow your bank and afford all the high-profile players you want in the long run.

What about players who aren’t suiting up? Why do they only go down by a dollar or not even at all in some cases?

If a player’s price was lowered every game they didn’t play, players on injured reserve or physically unable to perform lists such as Brendan Mundorf from the Philadelphia Wings or Alex “Kedoh” Hill from the Rochester Knighthawks would end up costing a ridiculously low price like $2. Then once they get back on the field, they would put up huge fantasy points compared to their cost and make the game unbalanced.

For example, Hill only played five games last season, but averaged nine fantasy points per game. If he were to cost much less than he currently does, then his price would be too low compared to what he can score if and when he does play. On the other hand, his value would probably be higher than it currently is if he was playing regularly so he’s already been reduced to account for that.

In short, always lowering a player’s cost for not playing would result in an inaccurate representation of their scoring potential. Every fantasy manager would simply seek out players who have recently returned to the lineup and then reap in huge rewards when their prices have to jacked back up.

So why reduce some by a dollar? Teams should still lose value for picking a player who doesn’t actually play but plummeting a player’s cost wouldn’t only throw his value out of balance as explained above, it would also potentially ruin a fantasy manager’s team for making one mistake. Imagine if Casey Powell’s value received a huge cut because he unexpectedly sat in Week #1. That would cripple anybody’s bank that had him on their team and then massively reward anybody who played him in Week Three. Not fair.

Have a question related to the 2013 NLL Fantasy Game? Want to know how something works or advice about a specific player? Email your question to fantasy@nll.com and it just might be answered in next week’s Fantasy Mailbag.

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